Remove malware from Opera browser

Learn what malicious software tends to infect the Opera browser, be advised on ways to avoid the attacks and get instructions to remove this malware.

First and foremost, those who are questioning the popularity of Opera might change their mind after learning some bare facts about it. In late 2014, the overall user base of this web browser reached 350 million. Also, not every competitor can boast 20 years of background – Opera can. It has also been quite innovative throughout its history. Did you know, for instance, that it was the first browser to introduce the handy feature of graphical slots for quick access to favorite sites from a new tab? Major players on the market have followed suit and borrowed this functionality after Opera had pioneered with it back in 2007. So it’s a game changer in some aspects, plus it has earned quite a number of awards from authoritative resources such as PC World and About.com.

Opera browser assaulted by homepage hijacker

Opera browser assaulted by homepage hijacker

The web browser in question is hardly different from other widely used counterparts as far as virus attacks are concerned. The dominating variants of Opera malware include ad-supported PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) as well as homepage and search hijackers. Above is an illustration of a fairly run-of-the-mill malicious add-on in action. The user’s custom browsing settings, such as start page, preferred search engine and new tab site, are automatically modified by the infection, which is technically an extension that takes over critical privileges without being so authorized. The outcome is obvious: an unwanted web page will be constantly popping up instead of the user-defined URLs. This technique pursues the traffic redistribution objective, where interested parties pay the malware authors for capturing user hits.

Luckily, Opera isn’t targeted by adware as much as IE, Chrome and Firefox are. The typical malicious code injection routine leveraged for infiltrating browsers is a tricky process that involves bundling with other software. In the course of this workflow, the user is expected to quickly click through dialogs that accompany the setup of the carrying freeware, the main idea being to make people fail noticing the indication of the unwanted promotion. Now, according to the analysis of these scenarios for some of the prevalent adware applications in the wild, Opera is sometimes not listed in such disclaimers (see image below). So, obviously, these threats aren’t quite cross-browser, which is good.

Opera not being targeted by an adware sample

Opera not being targeted by an adware sample

Another big cluster of Opera malware includes intrusive plugins that generate ads while the victim is surfing the web. Their distribution usually follows the same bundling pattern. In this case, the user will encounter multiple popup ads, comparison shopping boxes and in-text links across every web page that is visited. Interstitial ads are also likely to be triggered when the browser or new tabs are launched and whenever random space on sites is mouse-clicked.

Regardless of the subcategory of malware that attacked your Opera browser, the cleanup tends to be more complex than the standard low-level troubleshooting. The adware may or may not be listed on Control Panel’s Add/Remove Programs interface. Even if it’s there, uninstalling it doesn’t necessarily lead to easy remediation of the adverse changes. Restoring the right preferences manually is hardly ever efficient either. The instructions below are an aggregate of the knowledge provided by security professionals in the context of eradicating viruses from Opera.

Techniques to remove malware from Opera

There are several vectors applicable to eradicate malicious code that ended up in your browser. Since both search hijackers and ad-inserting bugs tend to be embodied as malicious extensions or plugins, the first workaround is to uninstall these apps. While this approach is often efficient, sometimes it won’t work – it all depends on severity of a particular threat. In the worst case scenario, resetting Opera works flawlessly, but this procedure will erase all personalized browsing data. So try the former technique first, and if it doesn’t help, proceed to the latter (steps to be provided below).

Method 1: Manual removal of malicious components from Opera

  • Click the Customize and control Opera button in the top left-hand part of the window and select Extensions manager in the drop-downGo to Extensions manager in Opera
  • Find the malicious extension on the list and click Disable as shown below. This will remove the unwanted itemDisable malicious extension
  • Click the Customize and control Opera icon again and select SettingsProceed to Opera settings
  • Proceed to the section called On startup under Settings, select the radio button for Open a specific page or set of pages option and click on Set pages linkOn startup subsection of Opera settings
  • On the Startup pages dialog that pops up, find the unwanted entry and click the X button to the right. Also, enter the preferred start page and click OKAdd new startup page
  • Proceed to the Search section under Settings and select your preferred search engine from the listSelect preferred search provider in Opera
  • Restart Opera and browse around a bit to check if the problem has been fixed. If the symptoms aren’t occurring anymore, you’re good to go. In the event the issue persists, move on to the next troubleshooting vector.

Method 2: Reset Opera to its defaults

  • Click Customize and control Opera and select SettingsGo to Opera settings
  • Select Privacy & security option and click the Clear browsing data button as shownClear browsing data button
  • When a dialog pops up, make sure all checkboxes are activated, select the beginning of time in the drop-down list, and click Clear browsing data at the bottomConfigure Opera reset
  • You are done resetting Opera. Do some test browsing to see if things are okay now and whether the malware is gone.

Verify whether the virus has been completely removed from Opera

For certainty’s sake, it’s advised to run a scan with automatic security software in order to make sure no harmful remnants of this adware are left inside Windows Registry and other operating system locations. This method should also be employed in case the manual troubleshooting workflows ended up being inefficient.

Download Opera malware remover

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6 Responses to Remove malware from Opera browser

  1. MRJ says:

    thanks it works

  2. elly says:

    I have tried it many times and there is still malware. What can I do now?

    • admin says:

      elly,

      Try booting into Safe Mode by repeatedly tapping F8 key during computer startup. Then, follow the tips covered in this tutorial.

      Regards

  3. Deepankar Aadwitiye says:

    So many thanks…!!!
    It works…

  4. Shayne says:

    Thank you for the great article

  5. Christal says:

    This is actually helpful, thanks.

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